Three Devices That You Can Use To Curb Your Child's Thumb Sucking

Posted on: 22 January 2019


When you take your child to a kids dentistry clinic, the dentist will often indicate whether the child's habit of sucking his or her thumb appears to be a problem. Many young children suck their thumbs to varying degrees, and for some kids, the pressure of the thumb against the front teeth can lead to problems. While your dentist may encourage you to try to keep your child from engaging in this habit — perhaps by offering a reward system for when the child doesn't suck his or her thumb — you may already be struggling in this regard. In such a scenario, the dentist may advocate the use of a device to prevent thumb sucking. Here are some devices to use.

Thumb Crib

A thumb crib in a metal device that your dentist can provide to you and your child, ensuring that it fits properly inside of your child's mouth. This device has a lightweight, metal cage that sits inside the upper mouth and is designed to keep your child's thumb from making contact against the backs of the teeth. It may take some time for your child to grow accustomed to this dental device, but it's an effective one for preventing the habit that may lead to serious oral health complications.

Thumb Guard

Your dentist may also suggest that you try using a thumb guard. This simple device is available at pharmacies and is something of a cross between a glove for the thumb and a splint that you'd use on a broken or sprained thumb. This device is easy to wear with a wristband that will help to hold it in place. The thumb guard won't interfere with your child's ability to sleep if you find that he or she is more likely to thumb suck while in bed.

Awareness Bracelet

If your child is older and still sucks his or her thumb, the pediatric dentist will likely explain some of the ramifications of this behavior in a gentle manner and with language that the child will understand. While the above devices can work, you might want to empower the child to curb this habit by giving him or her an awareness bracelet. This can be any type of bracelet, but one that is brightly colored is best. The premise is that when the child raises his or her hand to thumb suck, he or she will see the bracelet and remember not to.